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No Kick Clock Just Yet
The National Rugby League has ruled out any immediate law changes as Warrior Brent Webb's lengthy goalkicking routine comes under the spotlight again.
Webb was booed by home fans when he took his seven shots at goal in the Warriors' 26-24 defeat of the Roosters in Sydney on Sunday, in particular during his winning conversion, landed in the final minute.
NRL chief operating office Graham Annesley said that the fullback was not doing anything illegal today and said there had been no official complaint from the Roosters.
Annesley said the NRL would not consider making any rule changes with only one round to go before the playoffs.
"The time that kickers have to kick for goal has never been regulated in the 95-year history of the game," he said.
"We're hardly about to start one week out from the semifinals."
Annesley said the NRL would be happy to look at the issue in the off-season if clubs in general believed that it needed to be reviewed.
Under league's international rules, there is no time limit for kickers to take their shots at goal.
However, referees have the discretion to call time-off if they think a kicker is taking too long, something referee Tim Mander did with Webb.
Annesley, himself a former top referee, said debate over the matter did arise from time to time.
He said there was a move in New South Wales in the early 1980s to have the clock stopped for each goal attempt.
"But they found that the game was just going on for so long that it was unworkable," he said.
"So it does get a run from time to time depending on particular kickers and how aggravated people get watching them."
Rooster coach Ricky Stuart complained that the match against the Warriors was the slowest he had witnessed, with only 69 sets of tackles compared with the usual 84 or 85.
His skipper, Brad Fittler, described the time Webb took to line up his shots as "an absolute joke".
However, Warrior coach Daniel Anderson said Webb had a set routine and took the same time for each shot.
"If they bring in rule, we'll work around it, but at this stage there is no rule that says he can't take as long as he wants."
The Daily Telegraph in Sydney, in an article headed Time Bandits Face Boot, today reported that the combined time taken up with goalkicking by both the Warriors and the Roosters totalled more than 19 minutes.
But the paper's figures also showed that Webb's attempts used up, on average, the least amount of actual game time.
Webb's seven shots at goal took 10 minutes and 16 seconds of game time, or 88sec per kick.
The Roosters' Chris Walker used up 7min 28sec for his five attempts, or 90sec per kick, while Fittler's sole shot took 91sec.